A man who threatened to put up intimate pictures of his former partner around three Fife towns following a break-up has avoided jail.
Drew Clark, 25, of Dick Crescent, Burntisland, admitted sending a comprising photo of the woman engaged in sexual conduct to his friend, before vowing to print out pictures and put them up around Lochgelly, Leven and Glenrothes out of spite.
Appearing at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court, Clark was sentenced to a community payback order amounting to 12 months’ supervision and 160 hours of unpaid work – despite earlier warnings he could face prison.
Clark previously pled guilty to sending a photograph of his victim in an “intimate situation” to another person and threatening to disclose a number of photographs with the intent to cause her fear, alarm or distress between March 23 and April 11 this year at Dick Crescent and elsewhere.
A further charge of observing or recording the woman involved in a private act without her consent on March 23 was denied, which was accepted by the Crown.
The court previously heard Clark had been involved in a sexual relationship with the woman earlier in the year and had taken intimate photos of her, sending one to a friend named James via Facebook.
The relationship broke down around two-and-a-half weeks later and Clark threatened to print other pictures he had of her and post them in various locations – prompting her to call the police.
When interviewed, Clark admitted he had sent one image to a friend but claimed he had no intention of carrying out his threats, adding he had only done it to “get his own way”.
Clark’s defence solicitor said the photos had been taken with the consent of the woman, although he acknowledged she did not know it had been sent to Clark’s friend until later.
The solicitor added that Clark committed the offence out of “relative immaturity and frustration” following the pair’s break-up.
“He was obviously upset but deeply regrets his action and didn’t realise the effect it might have on her and ultimately on him as far as the criminal justice system is concerned,” the solicitor added.
There was some discussion about whether or not the offence had a sexual element to it, which could have led to Clark being subject to sex offenders’ registration.
Depute fiscal Clare Kennedy argued that had been the case, but a social work report referred to in court suggested it was more a domestic matter.
Sheriff Alison McKay told Clark: “I don’t consider there to have been a significant sexual element to this offence but I should say it is a particularly unpleasant piece of behaviour on your part which clearly manipulative and abusive to your partner.
“The court has to take a serious view on that.”